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Kiama FAD & Shellharbour fishing


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Seas beautiful last weekend, flattest and smoothest with the light westerly I've seen in ages. The Mrs decided she wanted to head out with myself and my mate, perfect chance for her as she gets a bit green when there's swell.

Put in at Shellharbour and made the dash out to Kiama FAD. Zero bird activity on way but quick trip due to lack of swell. Had it to ourselves when we got there, 4 or 5 metre long Dollies lit up and circling the FAD we thought happy days here. Well the next half hour incredibly frustrating- was cursing I didn't grab any livies. We tried plastics, jigs, trolling, every lure in the box with no success. Started cubing a Stripey up, Dollies ignored the bait but dozens of rat Kings came out of nowhere and literally were feeding at the back of boat. Put a hook in a cube it was left alone... got some Go Pro footage of them pigging out will put up later.

Still cursing the decision not to stop for livies we headed in closer and hit the usual drifts. Managed a few Snapper, Trevally, Mowies, Red Rock Cod and Grinners between us but had to keep moving as the dreaded Jackets were everywhere. Probably had only 10 minutes each spot before they showed and there were hundreds. Kept a couple for the kids to eat, when cut head off and throw overboard dozens of others would just chew the head until they were out of visibility.

Water so clear we decided a quick snorkel near Harbour on way back in and got our limit of Abalone. Visibility best have had in months.

That afternoon made a French Fisherman stew- mixed in all the fish types and Abalone and add fresh fish stock, tomotoes, veg, herb and saffron. Sensational dish if you've never made it and very easy too. Mrs very happy with me- I have earned a pass to go again this weekend- happy wife- happy fishing life!


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I combined 2 recipes from Stephanie Alexander's "A Cook's Companion"- one was Rustic Fisherman Stew the other Bouillaboisse. Both have a million variations and are easy, just need good fish stock and multiple species be they few types fish, some crab, shellfish whatever. I'll take a pic and post later but if you google Mediterranean fish stew or bouillaboise you'll get a heap of choice.

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Looking forward to seeing the video mate, it's always such a tease seeing kings that won't eat your bait, even if they are just rats.

Be careful tho if you're ripping heads of leather jackets out at sea and bringing the carcass home to eat as the fisheries could fine you for not keeping the carcass whole.

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Pretty sure is just bag limit on Jackets? No shortage of the bloody things.

You're right, I just looked into it, any fish with a legal size limit must be kept whole but if the fish has no size limit you can fillet, take the head off, etc without a problem... Bit of a strange rule actually as without forensic investigation how would you prove your trumpeter whiting fillets on ice were not actually under sized sand whiting... oh well nothing to do with your post just a thought :)

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